Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
My Attempt to Score Digitally

Adventures in Online Dating

by BEN TRIPP

It has come to my attention that the way to find a mate these days is via the Internet. Now when I was of courting age, you did it the old-fashioned way, by ambushing a remote village and carrying off all the girls. It was an awful way to meet people, especially once all the skinny girls had been carried off. And finding eligible partners at bars isn’t much better. It is a sad testament to our culture that the most common crucible in which we form our lasting relationships is also where we deliberately become incoherent and throw up on strangers. But is it really any better to initiate relationships on a computer? Ever willing to go that extra mile in the name of journalistic investigation, I decided to find out for myself.

I discovered a wide variety of dating services online, including both general and special-interest formats. The sites catering to the public at large were humiliating, a vast hormonal stew comprised of equal parts loneliness, desperation, sexual braggadocio, and snapshots of the participants taken by accident through the window of a moving train. Most of the personal ads therein were frankly lewd. I gave these listings a cursory glance lasting three solid days and then moved on to the specialized dating sites. Here I struck the romantic motherlode. Swingin’ rabbis, stockbrokers, pangolin enthusiasts, vegetarians, Ukranians, ex-cons, people with rare allergies, fetishists, even Democrats, they all have their own little online love-nests. The next step was obvious: I had to pick a service and set up my own profile. I felt like Bill Kristof, boldly investigating the dark underbelly of self-exploitation.

But my wife cancelled her business trip, so I gave up on the whole enterprise. She and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on this undercover journalism thing, particularly since the cat food factory exposé fiasco. I hate to waste an effort, however, and so here for your enlightenment is my attempt at a personal ad suitable for most any online dating service.

WM, 38, Married with child old enough to answer phone. Don’t call. Cats 3, dogs 2. Astrological sign: Cancer (in remission). Drink: yes, usually beverages. Drugs: no. Don’t know where to get them. Self: 6’1", hair yes, eyes 2, chins 1 1/2, occasional smoker, pipe only, no cigarettes or bong. Slight case of man tits. Own a kilt. Sports: cycling, kayaking, nervous pacing. Once tried bear wrestling, lost. Bear used illegal holds. Religion: Church of the Divine Vestibule. Favorite movie: 1932 King Kong. Favorite actress: Lilian Gish. Favorite actor: Bugs Bunny. Favorite quote: "Omnia iam fient quae posse negabam" (Ovid). No idea what it means. Politics left of center. Center right of center so politics actually in middle. Chaos ensues. Philosophy mixture of logical positivism and unfounded suspicion. Crazy about tautological equivalences. Favorite philosophers Sartre, Wittgenstein, Buddha, and Dr. Phil. Favorite author: Anonymous. Favorite Movie: Spirited Away. Favorite color: Dutch Boy Puce Moonbeam. Music: favor all music except Country Western. That said, I won’t turn away any line-dancing fans if they’re really stacked and don’t try to talk much. Favorite movie: The 400 Blows. Favorite food: Persian women. Favorite movie: Jaws. Turn-on: bed head. Turn-off: wax lips. Pet peeve: saying ‘Hat’ when you mean ‘trepidation’ (had GF with aphasia). Syndactylism, mild strabismus OK. Real boobs a must. Sexual depravity OK in moderation. Fill in the blanks: "Rolling around in warm goat cheese is sexy, a lively interest in the arts is sexier." Especially those filthy Klimt paintings. Favorite movie: North by Northwest. People I admire: Ghandi, Zappa, Arundhati Roy, my wife, my son (is this spoiling the mood?), certain parts of Jayne Mansfield, Terry Gilliam. Favorite movie: Brazil. In my bedroom you will find: a bed. Also there’s some other furniture, and walls. I’m not sure I’m answering this question right. Favorite movie: Raging Bull. Books read recently: Island of Dr. Moreau; Ray Harryhausen: an Animated Life; Mein Kampf; Roof Framing Details Illustrated. Favorite movie: Annie Hall. Love to: cook, eat, explore all the different meanings of the word ‘climax’. Love: travel, trees, women, gorillas. Pref. Not all at same time. Good with children and animals. Was once bitten by an ostrich, also left hand crushed by a rhinoceros. Forgave both, I blame habitat pressures. Favorite movie: Night of the Living Dead. My ideal partner will be kind, gentle, funny, thoughtful, and intelligent, fan of Godzilla, politically active, well-read, funky, possibly human rights lawyer or doctor, ideally with experience as exotic dancer. Quick orgasms always a plus, but am willing to do homework. Prefer somebody that gets along well socially with my wife. Favorite movie: The Seven Samurai.

BEN TRIPP can be reached at credel@earthlink.net.

His book, ‘Square In The Nuts’, has been held up at the printers by thugs but will be released as soon as hostage negotiations conclude.

See also www.cafeshops.com/tarantulabros.